The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPhilip Giraldi Archive
Sinking Liberty
Who will write the final chapter on Israel’s 1967 confrontation with the U.S. Navy?
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

The attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats on June 8, 1967 has almost faded from memory, but new evidence suggests that the White House might actually have had prior knowledge that the ship would be struck by Israel’s armed forces. In the worst attack ever carried out on a U.S. Naval vessel in peacetime, 34 American sailors and civilian personnel were killed and 171 more wounded in the two hour assault, which was clearly intended to sink the intelligence-gathering vessel operating in international waters collecting information on the ongoing Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

The Israelis and their supporters in the United States have always claimed the attack was a tragic mistake while many of the surviving Liberty crew believe that it was anything but: They assert that the vessel was flying an oversized American flag and was clearly identifiable as a U.S. Navy vessel. The ship’s commanding officer, Captain William McGonagle, was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his role in keeping the ship afloat, though President Lyndon Baines Johnson broke with tradition by refusing to hold the medal ceremony in the White House, or to award it personally, delegating that task to the Secretary of the Navy in an unpublicized presentation at the Washington Navy Yard.

The Liberty crew was sworn to secrecy over the incident and a hastily-convened court of inquiry headed by Admiral John McCain acted under orders from Washington to declare the attack a case of mistaken identity. The inquiry’s senior legal counsel Captain Ward Boston, who subsequently declared the attack to be a “deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew,” also described how “President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” The court’s findings were rewritten and sections relating to possible war crimes, such as the machine-gunning of life rafts, were excised. Following in his father’s footsteps, Senator John McCain of Arizona has used his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to effectively block any reconvening of a board of inquiry to reexamine the evidence. Most of the documents relating to the Liberty incident have never been released to the public.

One of the more intriguing allegations surrounding the Liberty incident is the claim that a United States Navy submarine was in the area when the attack took place. A number of submarine crewmen have surfaced anonymously to say that they were on one of several subs reported to be in the area on intelligence-gathering missions. Some stated their belief that photos were taken of the attack itself, but, fearing reprisals from the government, none would go public with their claims.

More recently, a crewman on the USS Amberjack, a diesel-powered intelligence-gathering sub, has provided an account of his ship’s activities on that day in June to two Liberty survivors. The sailor, Larry Bryant, agreed to go on radio with survivors Phil Tourney and Ron Kukal to discuss his experiences but inexplicably got cold feet and broke off contact. However, several extended phone conversations had already provided some intriguing insights into what had taken place.

Several Liberty crewmen reported seeing a periscope during the attack and it has generally been assumed that it was Israeli, but according to Bryant, it was actually the USS Amberjack. The submarine was near enough to the incident to clearly hear throughout the ship the reverberations of every round fired into the Liberty’s hull. The sub’s crew knew that a U.S. Navy vessel was under attack, but the Amberjack was only lightly armed and in no position to intervene. The sub remained immobile between the Liberty and some of its attackers and the sub’s crewmen feared that they themselves might be hit by the the Israeli warships’ torpedos.

As Larry Bryant was a crewman, he had no idea why the submarine was in that spot on that day, but he did note how the sub had raised its periscope and was observing the attack as it unfolded. More interestingly, the submarine had been equipped with a platform for the mounting of a video camera, which operated through the periscope and the Amberjack both filmed and photographed the entire incident. Some crewmen noted that the Liberty’s large American flag was clearly visible through the periscope during the attack, disputing the subsequent Israeli contention that the ship was not flying any flag.

The Amberjack’s Captain August Hubal, now retired and living in Virginia, has denied that his ship was anywhere near the Liberty on June 8th, but his account is contradicted by the ship’s log which confirms that it was indeed in the area. Hubal, who was described by Bryant as an obsessive, “by the rules” officer who would go to his stateroom and blow his brains out if so ordered, later warned his crew to forget about their role in the Liberty attack or face the consequences. The photos and videos of the incident made by the Amberjack were subsequently couriered to Washington by a ship’s officer, where they were turned over to the Pentagon.

Part of Hubal’s reluctance to discuss what he was doing on that day might be traced to the fact that his vessel was carrying out a clandestine operation in Egyptian waters as part of the Naval Security Group, which was affiliated with the codebreakers of the National Security Agency. Several civilians on the sub were performing the same tasks as their counterparts who were intercepting and decoding radio transmissions on board the Liberty. The Amberjack was equipped with a snorkel, which enabled it to sit on the bottom of the sea immobile and listen to electronic transmissions for long periods of time.

Confirmation that the Amberjack was in the area and that it had made a film and photo record of the attack suggest a number of lines for further inquiry. First and foremost has to be the issue of possible prior knowledge or even connivance by the White House in what was about to take place. Was it happenstance that the submarine was in the same location as the Liberty or was it by design? Was there any advance notice to Washington that an attack might take place? Could the USS Liberty have been an intended victim of a false flag simulated Egyptian attack, leading to American involvement on behalf of Israel in the fighting? Though that line of inquiry might appear implausible, the White House ordered the return of US warplanes sent to assist the Liberty, suggesting that Johnson knew who the attackers were in spite of the fact that the Israelis had covered over their aircraft markings in an apparent attempt to blame the Egyptians. One might also recall the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Was the video equipment part of the ship’s standard espionage gear or was it installed just prior to the Liberty attack? Was the filming of the attack done on an opportunity basis or was it planned? Was it possibly intended to provide evidence of Egyptian aggression, played for all its worth on the nightly news in America? Most importantly, where are the video and other photos today and why were they not produced at the board of inquiry or subsequently?

To those who object that Lyndon Baines Johnson would not have sunk so low as to allow an American warship to be attacked, it should be observed that LBJ’s refusal to allow air cover might mean that the situation was being managed to produce a “correct” outcome. One might also recall that Lyndon Johnson was possibly the most pro-Israel president in American history, tilting heavily towards the Jewish state on foreign policy issues starting with his time as a congressman all the way through his years in the White House. When he was president he declared a “strategic alliance” with Israel.

The Amberjack story, for all those who would like to see the Liberty saga end either in exonerating Israel or in proving its guilt, provides closure. The attack took place 44 years ago. Whatever classified information or sources and methods used by the intelligence community worth protecting then are surely well beyond their shelf life now. It is time to open the files fully. The activity of the Amberjack, including its classified logs and whatever film and photos it might have taken, should be made accessible, together with the testimony of surviving crewmen. And when that material is fully digested, there should be another court of inquiry to look in the matter finally and completely, incorporating the testimony of all the surviving Liberty crewmen, particularly those who were not heard the first time around because they were in hospital or were restrained by orders not to discuss the incident.

WikiLeaks has demonstrated that the United States has a secret government that operates with little in the way or transparency or restraint. Unfortunately, it has had that kind of government for a long time, and the fate of the USS Liberty could be a manifestation of how the White House might actually have colluded in the deaths of American servicemen and then engaged in a cover-up to conceal what it had done. It’s time to open the windows and introduce a breath of fresh air. Lyndon B. Johnson is gone and so is his Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, both of whom left the USS Liberty to its fate. But there are many survivors who are still looking for answers. It is time to provide what they need and give them peace.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: USS Liberty 
Hide 83 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Raashid says:

    How exactly will they get peace, when Israel and its US-based enablers will continue to commit more Americans to death fighting for Israel’s dreams of conquering the hated Arab?

  2. Art R. says:

    The convening of a formal inquiry into the fate of the USS Liberty by our bought and paid for congress is about as likely as a hot spell at the south pole.

    As for Lyndon Baines Johnson, he may well have been one of the biggest crooks ever to have occupied public office in the history of the USA. For the definitive expose of what went on in Washington during LBJ’s presidency, pick up a book entitled, “The Washington Payoff: an insider’s view of corruption in government” by Robert N. Winter-Berger; forward by David Brinkley.

  3. Israel lied about the Liberty??? No one should be surprised. Lying has been Israel’s standard MO from the get-go. The same elements that made it almost impossible to have any sort of meaningful treaties and agreements with the Soviets now make Israel equally as untrustworthy. Anyone who takes what the Israelis say at face value is a fool.

  4. Phil,
    A great article a pice of history that shoud never be left in the trash bin of history our sons our brothers slain and no one is held acountable.UNFORGIVEABLE!!
    I thank you as a fellow American but more than that I thank you for being a friend and getting the truth out.
    God bless you Sir.
    Phillip F Tourney Liberty Survivor Three Time President Liberty Veterans.
    Author “WHAT I SAW THAT DAY”

  5. James says: • Website

    Ex-officer alleges cover-up in probe of spy ship attack

    Declaration of
    Ward Boston, Jr.,Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.)

    Time for the truth about the Liberty

    Captain Boston obituary in San Diego Union Tribune

  6. TeaShirt says:

    Every time I re-visit this incident my blood boils.

    We should hang five Israeli spies for every American sailor they murdered.

    We should re-stage the medal award ceremony for these brave men, this time on the National Mall instead of some back alley.

    And cut Israel off the American dole.

  7. BobbieMac says:

    Yet anbother reason to love Lyndon Baines Johnson. God, do we need any more??
    I have read all three of the books on LBJ by Robert A. Caro, and what that man has done to the USA is sickening. I found it hard to get through the books, despite the fact Caro — politically, a liberal who approved of LBJ’s social legislation– is a superb writer and historian. LBJ was totally devoid of principles and ethics, and I can only speculate as to what bombshell Caro is planning to unleash in his fourth volume. As portrayed by Caro, LBJ was capable of anything,

    LBJ is by far the worst president in US history, perhaps worse than all the others together. Many of the problems we face today can be traced to his administration.

    As for the Liberty, another chapter in the saga of the blatantly racist, apartheid state of Israel and its stranglehold over our political system As for Mr. Tourney and his surviving shipmates, my heartfelt sympathy. In your position, I would probably be overwhelmed by bitterness and hatred due to the duplicity, and lack of truth and justice concerning the fate of the Liberty,

  8. Mr Giraldi:

    You claim that the Israelis deliberately attacked the USS Liberty, knowing full well that she was a US Navy vessel.

    One question only: what was the Israeli motive? Why would they bite the hand that feeds? Why fire upon a US ship that was simply engaged in collecting information? Information which would eventually have found its way into Israeli hands!

    You theory is absurd. If such video footage as you claim exists, I doubt if it would be kept in some secret vault this long. Perhaps its right next to the secret dossier detailing Jimmy Hoffa’s whereabouts.

    And if some braver Avataar of Mr. Assange manages to destroy remaining US credibility by releasing more records, could he, while granting Mr. Giraldi’s request, also tell us whether Jerry Garcia was an MI-6 agent.

  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s better to leave the search for the truth to individual citizens and historians: the results of any “official inquiry”, however unlikely one may be, are sure to protect the powerful. Articles like the present, subject to debate and criticism, are much preferable to the promulgation of “official truth”, as the Warren report on the JFK assassination and the Zelikow 9/11 “novel” amply demonstrate. Thanks to Giraldi for opening up an entirely new line of investigation.

  10. cackcon says:

    Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to bring out the utterly paranoid.

    Conservatives should express skepticism about such theories, understanding the many factors and motivations driving various accounts and descriptions of such an event. The general rule is that the most reasonable explanation is the most likely. No doubt the U.S. was creeping around closer than it ought to, and closer than it claimed. Accidents happen in wartime, believe it or not.

    Of course, if you start out with an assumption that LBJ was corrupt or that all Israelis lie, it’s not too hard to predict the conclusions you’ll tend to draw.

    Frankly, I’m surprised the usual AmCon answer is entirely left out here: should the U.S. have even been in the Mediterranean in the first place? /sarc

  11. KurtH says:

    Dear Aditya Barot,

    Why would Israel bite the American hand that feeds it? I don’t know. Why did they pay Jonathon Pollard all that money to spy on the US government that had employed him? Please tell us.

    It’s clear the Israeli’s knowingly tried to sink The Liberty. They overflew the boat at 100 ft. The Liberty crew could see the faces of the pilots who were straffing them. It’s also clear the US government knew the Israeli’s were trying to sink the Liberty. They let it happen because it was a lesser evil in their mind to keep the desired picture straight (even though I disagree).

    I could let your transgressions pass, but when you pull Sainted Jerry Garcia into your web of obfuscation, you have stepped over the line. Leave Jerry out of your insanity.

    It happened. It shouldn’t have but it did. Accept that.

  12. thank you crackcon for your lucidity!

    Occam’s razor evidently does not apply to any scenario involving a postage stamp sized mediterranean nation.

  13. Dear Frau Barot: when one believes that one is “chosen” by “God,” and no one else outside of the group is, then betraying lesser mortals outside of the group when it’s to one’s advantage is perfectly acceptable. It’s as plain as that.

    The attack on the Liberty by Israel is but one example of Israeli perfidy against the United States. If it were an isolated incident, it might be easy to say it was a mistake, but given Israel’s history of espionage against America, it becomes obvious that the attack on the Liberty is part of an overall
    pattern of back-stabbing and betrayal by Israel.

    With objective examination of the facts, Israeli fascism always shines through.

  14. Dear KurtH:

    Thank you for your response.

    First and foremost, please accept my most profound apologies for gratuitously involving the Saintly Garcia. It was righteous to call me out on that one.

    Now, let’s see if you can honestly acknowledge your failure to distinguish between spying and an act of war.

    The 1960 U-2 incident was an act of spying, but did not lead to outright war. Similarly, Pollard spying for Israel was not an act of war. And why is shocking that Israel spies on us? Don’t we spy on everyone? And what”s wrong with that? Isn’t that called national security?

    Now, attacking a US ship after knowing full well it’s a US War Vessel is an unequivocal Act of Aggression. I pity the fool who would suppress that, in either Israel or US. Please remember, Israel is also a open and morally righteous and occasionally self-righteous society, like the US, as the recent Haaretz reporter Uri Blau incident demonstrates.

    There is no conspiracy, amigo. An error occurred. Good men died tragically. g-d keep their souls in peace.

  15. Aditya Barot prattled: “Occam’s razor evidently does not apply to any scenario involving a postage stamp sized mediterranean nation.”

    Ah, yes, the “we’re-a-postage-stamp-sized-country-so-we-can’t-possibly-ever-do-anything-wrong-and-everyone-else-is-wicked-and-hates-us” argument yet again.

    Please, save your self-righteous crocodile tears for someone who can’t think and will care. Israel has a stolen nuclear arsenal sufficient to blow up the entire world several times over and the government of the United States by the nose and a belief in their own superiority. It is not a harmless kitten.

  16. Carlist says:

    Crackcon & Aditya:

    If the attack was an honest mistake, why were the markings of the attacking planes obliterated?

    When Cmdr. McChonagle entered the area, (in which he was ordered) he requested a destroyer escort. His request was turned down by the Naval area commander because “anyone” could identify an American ship due to its hull markings and oversized stern flag!

    The attack, commencing in the early afternoon, was preceded by overflights by Israeli observation aircraft. The IDF units in the area were well aware that the Liberty was an American Naval Vessel.

    I might also point out that there were several Soviet vessels in the same vicinity with in all probability, similiar intelligence gathering missions. And you can bet the Israelis were aware of that!

    But in any event, the onus is on you to prove that it was an “accident” and/or merely a “conspiracy” theory.

    Those who doubt the reports of survivors or condescend to and ridicule them should be overjoyed at the attempt to hold open official hearings on the affair, but to date they have tried to bury it.


    Perhaps Mr. Crackcon can enlighten us!

  17. Jim Bovard says: • Website

    Great analysis! We are long overdue for the truth on this carnage.

  18. Dear Ms Marple & Carlist:

    1. Please provide me with accurate figures, verfied by at least two US intelligence agencies (or even Wal-Mart’s business development arm), substantiating your bold allegations that Israel has “a stolen nuclear arsenal sufficient to blow up the entire world several times over..”

    2. Please look up the expression crocodile tears. I fail to see how that is pertinent in context of my remarks that a geographically insignificant nation draws such vituperative rhetoric.

    3. Finally, so what if the Jews think they are Chosen? Why do you care? Muslims think that they have the Last Word of g-d and that Jews and Christians corrupted the rest. Does that bother you? Hindus don’t even let you convert because they believe that you need severl hundred thousand births and rebirths in order to evolve into a Hindu.

    Israelis sins, are universal sins. There is nothing Israel has done to anybody, including the US, that is sui generis. Yet, the hatred reserved for Israel is sui generis. And this hatred will consume our Rational, Intelligent Conservative Movement and will enable the idiotic and loathsome Neocons to further malingn and discredit us.

  19. @Aditya Barot
    Considering the wealth of both Israel herself and international Jewry in general, she and her supporters can pay her way now. If any other country was demanding as much for so long, the same resentment would be shown to them. Israel is a colony and carries with it the “sins” of that endeavor. It is not a moral imperative to pay for Israel: the Jews are not entitled to American tax money so they can kill Arabs and steal their land. They can pay for it themselves.

  20. Aditya Barot opined: “Finally, so what if the Jews think they are Chosen? Why do you care?”

    -Israel is THE Jewish state. Without understanding Judaism it is impossible to ever begin to comprehend Israel and her arrogance toward the rest of the world.

    The belief that one can understand Israel without looking at Judaism is akin to asserting one can understand Saudi Arabia or Iran without understanding Islam.

    “Israelis sins, are universal sins. There is nothing Israel has done to anybody, including the US, that is sui generis.”

    -Most countries don’t stab their patrons in the back at every turn. Israel should learn how to provide her American sugar daddy with some satisfaction for all the money she’s been given.

  21. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Aditya is a hindu and these RSS(look up this organisation!) types have their own love affair with Israel.

    That explains his “defending” Israel.

    Hope good conservative people will take no notice of this guy.

    Issued in the public interest.

  22. Aditya Barot wrote. “And this hatred will consume our Rational, Intelligent Conservative Movement…….”

    To which I can only say, what you mean OUR movement tonto?

  23. “Aditya is a hindu and these RSS(look up this organisation!) types have their own love affair with Israel.”

    Who could have imagined it? The hasbarat has been out-sourced from Tel Aviv to Mumbai. We really do live in a global economy.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Thank you for this excellent article! For more information about the media cover-up on this and for a detailed refutation of Israeli claims see Alison Weir’s article, “American Media Miss the Boat: For USA Today, Freedom of the Press Means the Right to Report It Wrong”

  25. Dear All:

    Full disclosure: I am a Hindu (Arya Samaji). Secondly, yes, I do feel warmly towards Israel.

    However, I am not, and never have been, a member of the RSS. That being said, it is accurate that the RSS is a pro-Zionist organization. But that has nothing to do with my views because I have never been an RSS man.

    I do have some understanding of Judaism and as I stated, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t care if somebody feels they are a “Chosen People.” It bother me no more than one man’s One God or another’s One Millions Gods.

    The charge of arrogance is selective. Usually, that is levelled by third-worlders and other jealous types (think: France) at the US.

    Tanto? You have your slurs confused, sir. You’re thinking “hadji” or “dothead.” Please accept my profound apologies for claiming the slightest ownership and responsibilty for any activism in favor YOUR MOVEMENT. I agree, I am not a part of YOUR movement. My associates, conservative to a man, don’t confuse racial slurs, and don’t pursue incessant Jew-baiting of a kind that would make Chesterton blush.

  26. @ Aditya Barot

    What is so “Jew-baiting” about Americans no longer wanting to pay for the Jewish colony? The debate in this country has become contentious regarding Zionism, but it has become so because of the Zionist’s pathological urge to portray any criticism of Israel as “Anti-Semitic”. Some of us are sick of it and no longer want to give the Israelis the benefit of the doubt. There is no real reason that Israel is entitled to American tax money.

  27. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Israeli attempt to sink the USS Liberty was a crime. But so were the three messages from Washington to stop USN aircraft from helping the Liberty.

  28. Tonto was the good indian on a popular TV show here. So you can just go soak your wounded racial pride.

    If you are working here but find Israel so admirable, I’m sure they would just love you to go there and displace one of their workers. We on the other hand have had enough of market dominant minorities with big ideas.

  29. A good friend of mine is a Liberty survivor.He has at times some differing opinions than me but in all my years of knowing him he has been a straight up honest proud veteran . He told me of the intercepted radio communication between the pilots and their fighter command back in Isreal .They were heard telling fighter command that this is an American ship we shall not fire upon it.The return orders were do not question your orders sink that ship.This was repeated many times.
    Also American aircraft were lauched from an air craft carrier and were ordered to return to the carrier and not proceed to help the Liberty.They friggin sunk the life boats and rafts that the Liberty launched to get it’s wounded off of the ship.
    Some ask what was Isreal going to gain from this. Well without markings the planes could have been from Egypt and this could have been an excellent excuse for America to unleash all the naval power it had sailing around the med. directly at Egypt.
    Come on there are fewer and fewer survivors left from the Liberty or from the Pentagon who were involved in this caper and then cover up.It is well past the time for something to be done about this.A discraceful action has been taken against some real good men and it has been covered up for too many years.This spits in the face of all American veterans and it is past time that the subject was investigated fully let the chips fall where they may.I’m sorry if the great state of Texas doesn’t want one of their hom,e town boys memory dragged through the mud if he proves to be the scoundral he seems to be.Some good men have been buried for over 40 years and I don’t know about what happens after you die but maybe they haven’t been resting in peace.Maybe a signed paper from Congress would give them the peace and recognition that they deserve.
    None of these guys living or dead want one thin dime out of all this.They just want the truth to be told .They want the world to know that they fought with a couple of mounted machine guns against air attack and patrol boat attack and almost a commando attack being dropped by helicopter and noone came to help.They want the world to know that they were set up to sink but they didn’t sink.They did what none thought they could .They kept the Liberty afloat.
    Well there is a lot less of them today and they need help to keep their cause a float.The Liberty was cut up for scrap just as soon as she reached port but as long as people know the story and tell others the story well then the Liberty still lives.

  30. Mr. Meehan:

    Tonto was the other “Indian.”

    You too have your “Indians” confused.

    My racial pride is not hurt. I know my place in the grander scheme of things. I am a proud supporter of my WASP friends, especially of the Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire and Mark Steyn persuasion (N.B.: none of them is a Jew-Baiter).

    I dig fact that you know about Professor Chua’s theories. Again, if you had done your research, you’d know I am not a “market dominant minority.”

  31. Alfred says:

    Inconvenient as it is for the Jew-haters at The American Conservative,, no-one has ever been able to suggest any motive for this attack apart from the sort of foul-upsd which constantly occur in wartime. If anyone is to be blames it is the Arabs who hasve ceaselessly provoked Isreal and brought its pilots to a hair-trigger state.

  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    I was an Arabic linguist in the Naval Security Group in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I worked at NSA in G Group which handled Middle Eastern communications. Everyone who had any contact with the “Hebe” linguists and analysts in G Group knew of the tapes containing the IDF interecepts and the pilots identifying the Liberty as a US ship. But having Top Secret Crypto clearances, no one back then would or could speak up but everyone knew what had really happened. In fact, back in the early 70’s, there was a “bootlegged” (copied) tape containing the intercepts in the Israeli area of G Group. We all understood that the things we saw every day involved national security and that was the reason for our clearances. But I’ll never accept the abandonment of the Liberty (or the Pueblo) by Politicos and High Brass. There are lies and there are Damned Lies. These were of the highest order. Before all these guys pass on, there should be a final, truthful accounting of what really happened that day in June, 1967. It was and still is a disgrace how the crew of the Liberty was treated. No one who has ever taken the Oath of Allegiance to defend our country should ever be treated this way again. 73, USS Liberty Sailors.

  33. Aditya Bardot stated: “I do have some understanding of Judaism and as I stated, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t care if somebody feels they are a “Chosen People.” It bother me no more than one man’s One God or another’s One Millions Gods.”

    Doesn’t bother me, either, but one certainly must be aware for their own safety if their friend or foe believes he or she is “chosen.” If you’re honest, you’ll admit ideas have consequences, and believing one is “chosen” by “God” or by history always has consequences of the worst kind…witness the actions of Nazi Germany, where they believed they were “chosen,” or of the Soviet Bolsheviks, who also believed they were “chosen.” The Nazis called themselves “the master race” and the Bolsheviks called themselves “the vanguard elite,” but for the different verbage, both groups of lying, homicidal thugs were calling themselves the “chosen” people.(In short, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”)

    Everyone who believes they are “chosen” inherently believes everyone else is an iherently lesser mortal and will not believe himself morally compelled to treat others as equals and with fairness or without deception.

  34. Great article.
    It is time for full disclosure of the records; all the records, including Israeli internal documents and potentially old Soviet files which may have material information.
    Even assuming that the ‘mistake’ element of the Israeli “tragic mistake” defense has some validity, unlikely as that may be, the ‘tragic’ element has none whatever. ‘Mistakes’ of this magnitude amount to criminal dereliction and in principle one does not expect to walk away unscathed after apologizing, although our Pentagon as presently constituted apparently thinks it enjoys that prerogative in its Asian wars.
    The question I have is what did the Israeli military, and government, in 1967 do to exact accountability within its chain of command for such an horrific ‘mistake.’ In other words, who was court martialed in Israel and who went to jail.
    I should think that even our Pentagon would not think it could get away with a simple apology after killing 34 Pakistani soldiers and wounding another 171 in a coordinated assault.
    Information regarding the Israeli handling of the case would be most revealing, as would be Israel’s response to our request for the information.

  35. g-d! The Israelis as Nazis argument. I’ll tell you what, I’ll believe that trope the day Europeans and AmConMag readers start respecting the Israelis.

    Look, AmConMag readers obviously have a problem with the Chosen People. The discussion started with Mr. Giraldi’s failure to provide anything resembling proof for his far-fetched theories. Not one man here has offered anything but HEARSAY. Yet, everyone is prepared to believe the worst about the Jewish State.

    It’s a great newspaper, AmConMag. Pity they have an ethos that encourages Judenhaas.

  36. T. Sledge says:

    The notion that one is “anti-semitic” because he asks for an open, no holds barred inquiry into what happened to the USS Liberty, is as absurd as the notion that one had to be a “traitor” and “anti-american” to want the truth to be told about My Lai.

    I was on active duty (USAF) in the early 1970s when Lt. Calley went on trial for what happened at My Lai. I recall the charges that were made against those who sought the truth; I also recall how ashamed I felt that such an inept and incompetent man was ever seen as officer material by the US Army.

    If in fact the attack on the USS Liberty was ALL a mistake, then EVERYONE in a decision making capacity in the IDF on that day should have been drummed out of the military, and never have been allowed to hold a responsible position in ANY capacity in Israeli society.

    Didn’t quite happen that way, did it?

  37. I don’t know why people seem to start yelling about being anti semetic when ever Israel is mentioned as being a bad guy.Forget what country is being accused.A country is accused of firing on an American ship and an American president is accused of covering it up period.Now something should be done about it.

  38. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Aditya Barot,

    This is merely to clarify the confusion surrounding Mr. Meehan’s remark, “What you mean OUR movement tonto?” He is not mistaking you for an American “Indian.” Rather, he is mis-stating the punch line to an old joke that goes something like this:


    The Lone Ranger and Tonto are riding down the desert trail when suddenly, they find themselves surrounded by a band of fierce Apaches.

    The Lone Ranger says, “Tonto, we’re surrounded by a band of fierce Apaches. What should we do?”

    Tonto turns to the Lone Ranger and says, “Ugh! What you mean ‘we,’ paleface?! WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP!!!”


    So, to recap:

    You wrote, “And this hatred will consume our Rational, Intelligent Conservative Movement.”

    When Mr. Meehan replied, “What you mean OUR movement tonto?”, he was essentially saying that a) he’s a conservative, b) and you and he are not of the same mindset, so c) you must not be a conservative.

    “What you mean ‘our,’ paleface?”

    (The preceding is offered with no knowledge or affirmation whatsoever of the conservative bona fides of either you or Mr. Meehan. I will say, however, that as a Christian libertarian with paleo-con leanings myself, I am convinced that Israel’s attack on the Liberty was made with full knowledge of the ship’s identity and activities in the area, thus, with malice aforethought. Listen to this lengthy radio interview of two of her survivors: )

  39. NO INQUIRY !.

    No investigation, no convening of Washington’s usual suspects: John, Lee, Sandra, etc etc. No intelligence-insulting charade leading to the usual conclusion:


    of the degenerate federal government that turned its back as 28 sailors, 3 officers, 2 marines and a civilian were murdered, and the surviving crew menaced by their degenerate rulers.

    It is well to hold investigations and boards of inquiry after 44 days, or 44 weeks, or maybe 44 months.

    BUT NOT 44 YEARS !

    We were alive then and now. We know what happened thanks to years of reporting by eyewitnesses and others.

    We know of the maggots who lied twice within three years concerning affairs of the US Navy at sea:

    First the lie that North Vietnam attacked in August 1964 when they didn’t

    Second the lie that Israel did not attack in June 1967 when actually they did

    We need not waste our time with any further government coverup.

    And we must not be fooled by any of the ritual dance of democrat vs republican . They are of one mind on the subject

    How many times throughout this millennium have you heard the military virgins of media, politics, broadcast pundits, talk radio etc, squealing


    Well, the troops will be supported — unless the ‘favored nation’ needs to murder a few dozen. – Or send a US ship and its crew of hundreds to Davey Jones Locker.

    Let us not be fooled – again – by some fool inquiry conducted by the rulers.

    Thank you for your report Mr. Giraldi. Much needed.

  40. tbraton says:

    “The inquiry’s senior legal counsel Captain Ward Boston, who subsequently declared the attack to be a “deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew,” also described how “President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.” ”

    PG, I am afraid you have given Dr. Gottfried one more stick to beat you with more charges of anti-Semitism.

    I would note, in connection with your reference to Robert McNamara, that the relatively recent (2003) documentary “Fog of War” by Errol Morris covers many events in McNamara’s life from WWII to the recent Iraq War, but, as I recall, Morris did not even bother asking him about the U.S.S. Liberty incident. Apparently, he did not think it important to ask McNamara about it, although it sure would have been interesting to hear him cross-examined about that. Make of that what you will.

  41. tbraton says:

    “To those who object that Lyndon Baines Johnson would not have sunk so low as to allow an American warship to be attacked, ”

    You realize that you are referring to the same LBJ who allowed to be concocted an imaginary attack on a destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin which was used to obtain from Congress the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in August 1964, two months before the Presidential election in which his Republican opponent Goldwater was portrayed as a deranged war-monger who would take the U.S. into war. That resolution was later treated as a resolution by Congress authorizing war in Vietnam, which resulted in the deaths of more than 55,000 U.S. troops and millions of Vietnamese deaths. Basically, LBJ was a corrupt, lying scumbag.

  42. I have read what all the nay sayers are saying about the Liberty MURDERS. It makes me want to puke.
    The facts are the facts. As a person who was on that ship, June 8 1967, I am not a LIAR nor are my surviving mates. Israel, our best friends in the world, are cold blooded MURDERS, peroid.
    All the eyewitness testimony proves along with what the convening officer of the board of inquiry,Captain Ward Boston, says – the government of the UNITED STATES lied about the facts and allowed the attack on our defensless ship.
    If the nay sayers think this was just a pure accident, prove it.
    Do you think I or my mates would lie? Put us in front of congress if this is so easy to prove Israel did this by mistake.
    It is never going to happen because ISRAEL got by with MURDERING AMERICANS on the high seas and our government has been covering up for them for 44 years because they were in on the murdering of their own sons.
    Israel owns the congress of America and every President from Truman to Oboma. As Joe Friday always said just the facts m’am, just the facts. That’s exactly what Mr.Giraldi has given you .
    Nay sayers, make all the excuses you want for the MURDERS of American sons’. That is a crime in my view. You are as guilty of MURDERING American sons’ as Israel and the bought and paid for congress of the United States Government. A very sad story but true, folks. No more aid for Israel, no more wars for Israel, period.
    God help us and may God please bless America who has gone the wrong path.
    No one should get by with MURDERING Americans, not even Israel.
    Phillip F Tourney
    USS Liberty Survivor, Three time President of Liberty Veterans, and author of “What I Saw That Day”.

  43. tbration noted, of the days when it was said of the ’64 election “..Republican opponent Goldwater was portrayed as a deranged war-monger who would take the U.S. into war. ”

    As the twisted years of Vietnam unfolded it also became an oft-used one-liner:

    “They said if I voted for Goldwater we would become mired in a ghastly war in Vietnam. They were right. I did, and we did”

    ok a 3-liner

  44. tbraton says:

    Hugh McGuinness, that Goldwater joke has recently been reformulated to explain our war with Libya. According to Andrew Sullivan (cited by Larison):

    “But the president we supported is not, it is now clear, the president that we have. In the stingingly smug words of uber-partisan Glenn Reynolds:
    ‘They told me if I voted for John McCain, we’d be bombing Arab countries while the supporters of the bombing promised that we’d be greeted as liberators. And they were right!’ ”

  45. Ron says:

    I am the survivor who talked to the Amberjack crewman. I asked him one question that I thought was most important.
    Was the flag flying during the attack? He said it most definetly was. The film is still hidden from the public and if it is ever released the Liberty crew will be exonerated, and justice finally served.

  46. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What’s the possible motive? Israel was scared to death. They had a ton of neighboring states really, really pissed off about their attempted genocide and successful ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and Israel decided “I’m gonna attack Egypt even though they weren’t even preparing for war.” (Menachem Begin confirms this.)

    So they did. They pounded Egypt hard, and then realized “oh, shit. We just stirred up the hornet’s nest. HELP!!!!!!”

    When it was clear the US wouldn’t overtly lend military aid, they had no choice but to try to “convince” us to help. How? I dunno, wipe the Star of David from their jets, attack the Liberty, and try to lie to us and say it was Egypt (whom the Israelis just so happened to be fighting, pure coincidence, I’m sure.)

  47. Aditya Barot:

    One plausible motive was that the genius of the 1967 war — Moyshe Dayan — himself ordered the attack in an effort to secure the top secret crypto gear onboard Liberty. This would have been done as part of a covert operation with Soviet intelligence in return for Russian forbearance in meeting treaty obligations with the Syrians to defend the Golan Heights, a couple of days later. Liberty’s crew thwarted the plan at the time but we see elements of a similar motive with the later Walker and Pollard spy rings.

    It’s been said that no chess game in history was ever won without sacrificing a few pawns!

  48. Remarkable that after the attack is known, desperate feeble attempts to deny it are raised based upon motive.

    Cutting to the chase, Admiral Mullen, current gadfly of the tv talkies, in 2008 went to Israel and WARNED THEM NOT TO REPEAT (some version) of THE JUNE 1967 ATTACK ON THE LIBERTY,, as a false flag operation to ‘justify’ invading Iran.
    The way it operates around here is that the citizenry are addressed as so many drooling mules on these foreign misadventures.

    But behind the curtain are those who know the truth and occasiionally it shows.

    We are not supposed to know of such things as the falsies regularly conducted by the swells of this and other nations as they play the grand game of international mischief.

    When we call them on it in response we receive howls of inane drivel like “conspiracy theorist” eeeeuuww

    Mullen knows what happened. He just hopes you don’t

  49. The swells were in full stride in post war. Chief among their kind was the Roosevelts. Especially TR.

    Bully !

    What a family. TR’s son Kermit committed suicide, leaving K’s son to carry on the grand game. Came 1953 and young Master Kermit , a CIA operative engineered the overthrow of PM Mossadegh, properly elected, of Iran.

    Sealing our fate with Iran, what with Savak and the rest.

    But gave the US a king’s ransom in oil

    Is any of this stuff taught in college anywhere?

  50. Lydia says:

    The other motive is that Israel did NOT want anyone, namely the USS Liberty, witnessing what they were doing to the Egyptians during the war. The USS Liberty had full capabilities of witnessing and recording direct information, and they were too close to the Egyptian shoreline for comfort of the Israelis.

    Deal with it. This was a deliberate attempt to kill every single sailor on that ship, and the brass, straight up to the rotten top of McCain, McNamara and Johnson knew very well what was going on.

    Israel is NOT a friend of the US, or anyone else but themselves. Unless to those who bend over backwards in order to let them extort them for every penny they have.

  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Three possible motives for the attack have been advanced: (1) to draw the US into attacking Egypt, but this seems unlikely since Egypt was already under Israeli control with their air force destroyed; (2) fear that the Liberty would intercept communications revealing Israeli intentions to attack Syria, which the US opposed; (3) fear that this very advanced intelligence gathering vessel would record evidence of nearby Israeli war crimes in the Sinai – the massacre of Egyptian POWs and civilians – which would destroy the self-proclaimed morality of the IDF and jeopardize international sympathy and support. The massacres were reported by Bedouin witnesses and are supported by later discovery of mass graves in that area. According to IDF insiders, Moshe Dayan disclosed (internally) that he ordered the attack and ordered the ship sunk with no survivors.

  52. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    I proofread everything but my own name.

  53. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Lets get the word out people, thats whats important! Tell everyone who will listen about it. If enough people become involved, Congress will have their hand forced. Right now they are subserviant to Israel, we must turn it around and bring out the truth. Those brave men of the USS Liberty who died that day as well as the survivors deserve no less. Action speaks louder than words!

  54. I’ll never understand how a so-called American could ever take the side of Israel in this thing. Never.

    My sympathy goes out to the survivors and their families. And thank you Mr Giraldi for writing this piece.

    I would love to see justice served, as most Americans would.

    In any event, these guys should be honored for their heroic efforts in keeping that shift afloat. All AMericans should know their story.

    That most Americans do not know is a testament to the power that Israel has over this country.

  55. Jack Dresser:

    Your three possible motives do not pass the “necessary and sufficient” test. In hypothesis testing it is necessary that a proposed theory jive with the facts: Your first of three motives fails (as you say) when there was no reason to attack Egypt, the IDF having already suceeded in that. The other two lack sufficiency in that they do not serve to show any requisite benefits. Who would have cared whether further massacres occured or what “international sympathy” was lost?

  56. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    For the real story on the Liberty attack see the chapter in John Loftus’ and Mark Arons’ book “The Secret War Against The Jews”. It is an extremely detailed analysis demonstrating how the Liberty was intercepting Israeli communications specifying the OOB (Order of Battle) i.e. which forces are located where, and where they are being move to, and then conveying that info to the Egyptians.

    It also details all the steps Israel took to warn the liberty off,
    how Israel only very gradually increased its warnings, and then was ultimately forced to attack.

  57. Janice says:

    Michael Rosenberg: So Israel was “forced” to attack a ship belonging to one of their major supporters. That sounds like a crock.
    There was no way that the U.S. would give military information to an enemy of Israel and Israel knew that.
    Furthermore, if that was the real reason for its murderous attack on the Liberty why would Israel lie and say that they mistook the Liberty for an old Egyptian tub? Israeli pilots aren’t stupid and there was no way they could have mistaken the American ship for the Egyptian ship.
    It seems absolutely plausible that Israel hoped that the Americans would believe that the Liberty had been sunk by the Egyptians. Maybe that is why they machine gunned survivors in their life rafts. Dead men can’t talk.
    If there is nothing to hide there should be a full-fledged investigation by our Congress where every survivor of the Liberty is allowed to testify.
    Sadly, our Congress, bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby, would never let that happen.

  58. The issue of motive is simply not important, it is a diversion. If any reader of this article shot someone at random in front of whitnesses, the state would have no obligation to conjecture about your motive. Motive only comes into play when the perpetrator is not know.

    The fact that Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats attacked a clearly marked US Navy vessel in international waters is the issue.

    Rosenberg, I look forward to the day we will be “forced to” deal with Israel.

  59. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Israel’s allies at the time were Britain and France. It had attacked US facilities in Egypt in the Lavon Affair of 1954 and the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956 was another provocation. In the ’60s, Israel was under arms embargo by the US Congress. One probable motive of Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty may have been to provoke the launching of armed rescue planes, which would’ve had to jettison unused weapons into the sea when recalled, as a safety procedure to land on their ships. Israel could then bypass the embargo covertly, likely with a wink and a nod from Johnson, by picking up those discards later undetected.

  60. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    That will be the day the US loses.

  61. I agree, Thomas. The pro-Israelis use many diversionary tactics in any discussion of this issue. Been dealing with it for many years now.

    The facts can not be refuted. Israel attacked the USS Liberty using unmarked aircraft. They committed war crimes in the process. Those war crimes have gone unpunished to this day.

    The sheer heroism of the men aboard that ship is largely unknown to the American people.

  62. Thomas O. Meehan said:
    “The issue of motive is simply not important, it is a diversion. If any reader of this article shot someone at random in front of whitnesses, the state would have no obligation to conjecture about your motive. Motive only comes into play when the perpetrator is not know.

    The fact that Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats attacked a clearly marked US Navy vessel in international waters is the issue. ”


    The ‘motive’ search is a gambit employed to divert the discussion away from the facts of the attack itself into useless dithering.

  63. Andy says:

    “It’s been said that no chess game in history was ever won without sacrificing a few pawns!”

    It’s a cruel way of stating it but it seems to me A. Barot is right on target and that the US gov’t acted on a deliberate policy then and is doing so now as well. What is in the best interest of US citizens is determined by our elected representatives. In today’s internet world where information seems to be more readily available one would think there would be greater transparency. The stock line about no friends only interests when it comes to int’l relations seems to be true of all nations.

  64. hp says:

    Yeah, Andy. “Our” representatives are doing a real bang up job for us.

  65. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Last year, for Memorial Day and up until June 8th, I had a 3′ x 34′ sign made and hung from the gutters of my
    home, “USS Liberty Rememberance Day – June 8th 1967.”
    I have anguished over this incident, since the day it was reported and filled the entire last page of our local newspaper.
    I am of the opinion, that once the government of Israel learned, while in the process of the attack, they could deliberately shed American blood, without fear of US retaliation, as evidenced by our own President of the United States’ denial of assistance and recall of the Sixth Fleet planes-in-flight that were answering the Liberty’s May Day calls; then Israel could access and use the any of the US power and diplomacy and taxpayer money to attain their political/religious aspirations.
    Compare the US government and media reaction and response to Lybia, with ” 1)the recent US sole veto in the UN of Israel’s illegal settlements; 2)the US reaction to Israel’s blockade of Gaza before, Israel’s heinous “shooting of fish in barrel” campaign, “Operation Cast Lead”, murdering over 1400+ (over 400 innocent children) defenseless and captive civilians, 3) the Israeli/pirate murders of the peace activists, including a 19 year old US citizen in International Waters; and 4) the deliberate murders of Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndal, Brian Avery, and the Pratt Art student who lost an eye; this is just to mention a few .
    Our unconditional support of Israel foreign policy is shameful ; and for the sake of our own, and our own country, is in need of drastic change.

  66. Andy says:

    hp, we know why., “If the citizenry do not hold their officials to standards, then any government gets our of hand. So the question becomes how can we ever have a sound government, and the answer is by a principled populace.” As has been said by Jefferson and Tocqueville, in a democracy people get the government they deserve.

  67. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Liberty was attacked because it was intercepting Israeli transmissions that would have exposed their planned assault to take the Golan Heights, in violation of a cease-fire Israel had agreed to, and which left their Egyptian flank at reduced strength. Israel did not want the chance that Egypt would find this out.

    Rashid Patch

  68. North Korea, viewing the debacle and the non response from the degenerates who ran the government, said ME TOO!

    7 months later in January 1968 they captured the USS Pueblo, a ship of similar mission, and held the crew hostage nearly a year.

    Unlike the coverup of the USS LIBERTY shame, the PUEBLO incident was front page news throughout the year.

    And non dare call it conspiracy.

  69. Ferdinand says:

    Surely Janice is right: the Israelis were confident of sinking the Liberty and killing all hands, then of being able to blame the Egyptians. They would obviously have had the full cooperation of LBJ, who would thev been delighted to order the bombing of Egyptian targets in “retaliation.” Such “false flag” operations have been standard Israeli stock in trade at least since the Lavon Affair of 1954.

  70. The US government should (have) stop(ped) all aid to Israel.

    It should also (have) sever(ed) diplomatic relations. And certainly NOT have restored them by now, if ever.

    The Cuba Treatment, if you will, but MUCH more-deserved than it ever was by Cuba.

  71. Technomad says:

    I’d say that one reason LBJ ordered a cover-up is because he wanted either to run again for President or for the next President to be a Democrat…and he didn’t dare blow up the Democratic Party by attacking something that a large, crucial constituency was passionately attached to.

  72. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    For some years already this story comes up on the internet and by other outlets. The actual U.S. government stiff secrecy on it makes it all the more suspicious. However, reading the comments on it here provides the impression, or yet another signal of greater public resentment toward Israel. This may indicate general change of attitude and could affect the bilndness toward Israel in Congress, eventually making an investigation possible.

  73. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Come on, stop whining.
    Americans have been pawns for Israel at least since the Balfour declaration dragged them into WWI, where they had nothing to do.

    What are a few US casualties against the disaster the US caused fighting wars for Israel?

  74. Joseph says:

    It is high time that a congressional inquiry take place with members of the USS Liberty testifying and leaving the congressional record filled with testimony and evidence . The public is not generally aware that such an incident even took place.

  75. As it regards LBJ and his ruthlessness, there was a rather impressive book published concerning his first 10 years in the US Senate. The book demonstrates that Johnson was probably considered one of the most ruthless Senators in US history. Once he obtained the presidency he was able to take his ruthlessness to new heights.

    What most Americans cannot seem to grasp is that a majority of people who have been elected to office in the US both at the state and federal levels are classic psychopaths and this is why there are so many wars and secrets about what our governments do…

  76. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    According to “Bitter Harvest, Palestine1914-79” by the renowned Sami Hadawi (I.H.R.) “reporter Anthony Pearson, who was in the Middle East at the time covering the War…….decided to investigate; and after failing to find a publisher with enough guts to back him, published his findings in Penthouse Magazine in two instalments.”
    Pearson later wrote a book on the subject ‘Conspiracy of Silence; Attack on the USS Liberty, [London: Quartet Books, 1978.] Pearson claimed that the submarine USS Andrew Jackson accompanied the Liberty, “…it’s crew could photograph the attack through it’s periscope”.

  77. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I must break the silence about involvement in this incident. I have spent decades in exile in Egypt. Only now that Mubarak is gone can I speak of this. The USS Liberty was delivering a nuclear arsenal to the Israelis. The deal was to establish an additional US nuclear outpost with closer range to the Soviet Union. In return for Israel’s cooperation, the US was pledged to arm Israel with both conventional and nuclear arms. The Liberty was strafed by Soviet MiGs trying to disrupt the shipmet, not Israeli/French mirage jets. In fact, the Israelis came to our aid. However, as many articles detailing this event reveal, we came dangerously close to a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union at this time. The US and USSR needed to diffuse the situation quickly, and a further deal was struck with the Israelis that if they took the “blame” for firing on the Liberty, both the US and USSR would provide additional conventional weaponry to them. For decades the world has believed that the “mistake” was a cover up. In fact, it has been a an even greater cover up or double bluff. The real tragedy here is that Americans died supplying Israel with enough nuclear firepower to take out the rest of the middle east ten times over. Now we are stuck with having to defend them conventionally to prevent them from using their nukes.

  78. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I was fascinated by this incident ever since I read about it back in college. Something happened, and we may never fully know the real story.

    Whether you are blindly blaming Israelis, or blindly defending them, you’re still blind.

    As an R&D guy, I only believe in explanations that make sense, and I don’t see too many plausible explanations offered for the USS Liberty incident.

    Here’s my “top 3” list, in order of plausibility:

    1) A grand scale screw up, with most of the blame going to the Israelis. Having spent some time with the military, I can understand perfectly well how things like this may happen.

    2) LBJ wanting to get the US into the war – don’t forget, this was at the height of the Cold War, the Arab states being allied with USSR, Soviets actively helping them and even taking direct part in the conflict sometimes (operating latest equipment). LBJ must’ve felt we were losing our hold on yet another part of the world (Domino theory, anyone ?) and willing to go to the extremes. Sink a US ship and blame it on Egypt. Obviously, the Israelis would only be happy to assist in getting the US to fight on their side. There are two things that don’t quite work out. First, if this was the case, the USS Liberty would be sunk. Period. They would not leave it afloat. They would attack again and again and finish the job. Also, these would be planes with Egyptian markings. Second, we were not the only power spying in the region, the lies could be easily exposed by the Soviet intelligence. The way the story unfolded is just to half-assed for a serious conspiracy.

    3) Israelis were afraid that Soviets were intercepting and reading American communications, and would find out that the Egyptian border was left undefended. This is only barely plausible, as the easiest thing would be to warn the US.

    The rest of theories don’t make any sense, since they show no believable motive.

  79. Ron says:

    Just for these readers information the controversy over this attack has reached epic proportions on the Semper Fi
    site or Col Patrick Lang’s web site. He has closed down
    the thread saying that this controversy threatens the very exiistence of his site. Not the first time this has happened. Ken Halliwell who does nothing but report the facts has hit those who support Israel with the facts. The don’t like it and so the name calling begins. What’s new for them? Nothing.
    That is their mode of operation. Ken if you are reading this you blew them away again. I am just an eyewitness who saw them try to put the Liberty to the bottom so no one could talk ever again about it.

  80. Ken says: • Website

    Omar Elgabroni, You win the prize for the most outlandish conspiricy theory about the attack.

    “Olla” Pereira, You win the prize for the most rational analysis of attack theories.

    Ron, The true facts win every time.

  81. Michael Rosenberg said, “For the real story on the Liberty attack see the chapter in John Loftus’ and Mark Arons’ book ‘The Secret War Against The Jews’.”

    To see how utterly unreliable and biased that book is on anything having to do with relations between the U.S. and Israel, one should read the first installment of my “Who Killed James Forrestal” at

  82. Hans says:

    The one problem I have with the Israelis supposedly sending out their planes with the intent of sinking the USS Liberty is the fact that the Israelis aren’t stupid yet their airplanes weren’t loaded with the type of weapon which would best achieve that goal (i.e. HE or Fragmentation bombs) but rather they were loaded with possibly the worst weapon (Napalm bombs) for the alleged purpose…

  83. Ken says: • Website

    Hans, Who said the airplanes were sent to sink the ship? Perhaps they were sent to kill as many crew members as possible, via antipersonnel weapons like HE shrapnel shells and Naplam, and generally “soften-up” the target for the torpedo boats. There is no doubt about the torpedo boats carrying weapons appropriate for sinking a ship.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply -

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Philip Giraldi Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.